Augustines - Augustines
Album Review

Augustines – Augustines

While the name has changed, the quality of music which Augustines bring to the table has not. With their new self-titled effort, Augustines have risen the bar since Rise Ye Sunken Ships was released in 2012, and this bunch of eclectic tracks are enough to keep any music lover content.

From the atmospheric opener “Intro”, straight through to final track “Hold Onto Anything”, Augustines bring alot forward in their unique sound, world-weary music of loss and regret.

Lead single “Nothing To Lose But Your Head” gives a perfect example of what to expect from the album; frontman’s Billy McCarthy’s roaring vocals setting the tone as he, Eric Sanderson and Rob Allen bring huge hooks to back everything up; truly showcasing what Augustines do great.

A real teaser of what’s on offer through the other 11 tracks, “Nothing To Lose But Your Head” is great, though not necessarily the best. Straight after it comes “Weary Eyes”, an apologetic anthem which grips the listener through McCarty’s worn lyrics, hearing his pain and sitting in paired misery with him.

Most albums being released at the moment clock in at a short half hour, and much of that can tend to be filler; Augustines have released 45 minutes of great music. One such example is “Walkabout”, a 5 minute, piano-laden melody. Great in it’s simplicity, “Walkabout” strips some aspects of the band back and show that they don’t need biting guitars and big hooks to be great.

The song then builds from it’s piano centred beginning and soon a buried drum beat makes itself heard, and “Walkabout” quickly leans back to traditional Augustine territory; all the while McCarthy’s outcry is as emotive as ever.

“Kid You’re On Your Own” and “This Ain’t Me” follow, the latter being a particularly driving track. An intriguing melody opens the song while McCarthy and co. frame the song into what it has become; a blissful tune of bitterness of what the man has become. You move with the vocalist as he exclaims “[he] can change” repeatedly.

There is no feigning talent on their self titled, no fake misery here either; you can truly hear the distress in McCarthy’s lyrics, a poet worth listening to. The fact that the music driving behind it all is flawless just adds to it.

Album closer “Hold Onto Anything” is an epic tune, worthy of being the end of such an record. Again, McCarthy’s lyrics are the driving force behind the track, but the efforts of Sanderson and Allen are not forgotten. Near ballad in form, “Hold Onto Anything” exclaims just how hopeful the guys are about anything, and there is a distinct difference in McCarthy’s distinctive roars. There is a wash of eagerness in them, a buoyancy that is not found anywhere else on ‘Augustines’.

While 2014 has really only just began, there is a clear effort here for album of the year. Augustines have taken everything they learnt from ‘Rise Ye Sunken Ships’, and turned it all up a notch. If there was ever a record to be self-titled, it’s this one, as ‘Augustines’ truly showcases all that Augustines have to offer, and why we should be paying attention to this years dark horse. Music is meant to sound like this.

Venue: Augustines
Support Band: Votiv/Caroline International

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